The Statutory Environment
Notwithstanding its status as an auxiliary of the U.S. Air Force, CAP aircraft operations are considered those of civil aircraft; therefore, CAP is governed by Title 14 of the Code of Federal Regulations (14 CFR). Notably, CAP has a number of FAA-granted exemptions to 14 CFR Parts 61 and 91 that allow CAP's private pilots and the organization to be reimbursed for expenses in specific instances. The official record of each exemption is available at aes-faa.gov; however, recent copies are provided below for ease of reference. CAPP 70-4, Guide to FAA Exemptions, discusses the exemptions and provides operational examples of their application (see Members > Publication Library > Pamphlets).
Relevant FAA Interpretations & Clarifications
The ICAO Flight Plan is Now Mandatory
ICAO Flight Plan Guidance for CAP
ICAO Flight Plan Codes for Garmin Equipment
ICAO Flight Plan form (FAA Form 7233-4)
Instructions for Completing the ICAO Flight Plan
Filing ADS-B Capability in an ICAO Flight Plan
Callsigns, Flight Plans and Automatic Dependent Surveillance - Broadcast (ADS-B)
Pilots must ensure that the callsign they use reflects the Flight ID being transmitted by the aircraft's ADS-B system. (See FAA AC 90-114B on ADS-B Operations below.) Because CAP aircraft are flown by other agencies (e.g., CAP-USAF using "PARDXX" and maintenance facilities using "NXXXXX"), it is highly likely that you will encounter instances when an aircraft's ADS-B Flight ID has been changed to something other than CAPXXXX. This necessitates diligence in both checking and, when required, resetting Flight IDs. Using a callsign that does not match the ADS-B Flight ID will result in the FAA sending a Non-Performing Equipment (NPE) report to CAP/LG, but more importantly mismatches increase controller workload and could result in you being denied access to certain airspace.
The Organizational Regulatory Environment
Current and approved CAP publications are provided at Members > Publication Library. Downloaded or printed documents should not be used unless the user has verified that they have the current version and any applicable Interim Changes. Primary CAP publications relevant to aircraft flight operations are summarized below.
- CAPR 70-1, CAP Flight Management, states the responsibilities of all CAP personnel with respect to the control and management of CAP aircrews, aircraft, and flying programs.
- CAPS 71-7, Pilot Flight Clinics, establishes procedures for authorizing, funding, conducting and reporting CAP Flight Clinics.
- CAPR 60-3, CAP Emergency Services Training and Operational Missions, prescribes concepts, policies, and standards governing the training, qualification and execution of CAP operations missions.
The Physical Environment
Although the flying environment consists of numerous factors, weather is highly variable and, unsurprisingly, continues to be a top factor in aviation mishaps. The following links provide weather resources for flying.